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Organization works to keep students fed

Backpack meals
Backpack meals(WTVY)
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 7:31 PM EDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Many students rely heavily on school meals, which is why one local organization is working to ensure students stay fed even when classes aren’t in session.

Dothan City Schools is partnering with Dothan Leisure Services to make sure students have a steady food supply during the upcoming fall break.

The “No Kid Hungry” grant is allowing Dothan Leisure Services to provide “backpack meals,” ensuring Dothan City students stay fed.

“This area has a high population of free and reduced meal recipients so the need to ensure that they do get meals when schools are closed is what brought this grant about,” explains Stephanie Wingfield, Program Coordinator for Dothan Leisure Services.

For younger children especially, food security is vital.

“Kids can’t do a whole lot when they’re hungry,” says Wingfield. “When they have food, then they can go out and do other things, but it’s kinda hard to be hungry and to concentrate.”

The program is providing a level of comfort for DCS that their students won’t have empty stomachs over the long weekend.

Meagan Dorsey, Public Information Officer at Dothan City Schools expresses, “When we have community partners that really step up for our kids, it really means a lot to us because we are going through a lot making sure that all of our kids are fed and that they have the nutrition that they need to go throughout their days.”

With one backpack at a time, students and parents have one less thing to worry about.

“Now, more than ever, we see a lot with food insecurity with our children so with the food shortages, this is an opportunity to have partners step up and help us,” continues Dorsey. “So, we’re just very grateful for the opportunity and their willingness to be there for us.”

The “No Kid Hungry” grant will allow Dothan Leisure Services to give meals to a few other schools throughout other breaks.

They plan to provide for Selma Street Elementary students over Thanksgiving, and Gerard Elementary for Christmas break.

Today the organization gave around 350 Jerry Lee Faine students breakfast backpacks, they’ll be back tomorrow with lunch items.

Dothan City School’s fall break runs from this Friday to next Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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